Who is Kenneth B. Dart and why would I follow him into an SPPI trade?
Several weeks ago S.C. and I were talking about different companies that we were looking at purchasing stock in. S.C. told me that he liked SPPI, primarily because of insider buying and a giant block of stock being purchased by Kenneth Dart.
I understood the insider buyer aspect, but when I asked who Kenneth Dart was he said I should look him up.
This guy is a serious operator with a brass pair. He almost never loses. He's sometimes called an industrialist, financier, vulture capitalist and sharehold rights activist. He owns an armored yacht with antiaircraft guns mounted on it. That is awesome.
He is the CEO of the Dart Container Corporation, the inventors of the styrofoam cup. They never patented the machine and process because they didn't want competitors to be able to copy their design. To this day only a few highly trusted employees of the Dart Container Company are allowed to see the machinery itself.
In 1994 Kenneth and his Robert C. Dart brother moved to the Cayman Islands and Belize and renounced their U.S. citizenship. They did this to avoid paying taxes, a noble goal. Kenneth bought himself dual citizenship in Ireland and Belize. He then paid Belize to appoint him as their ambassador to the United States, in an embassy a couple of miles away from the home in Florida that Ken's wife continues to live in.
Bill Clinton was like "No ******* way!".
Kenneth is an astute investor. He bought distressed sovereign debt from Argentina for 20 cents on the dollar, then forced Argentina to pay him about $20 for every man woman and child in the country. He made similar moves with the debts of Russia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Turkey. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of countries in my opinion.
Ken also invests in biotech. He bought 8.5% of CVT, shortly before they were bought out in a nasty bidding war between Astellas and Gilead culminating in the March 12th 2009 buyout for $1.4 billion.
Kenneth recently purchased 8% of SPPI through his hedge fund, Eastern Capital LTD. Eastern really isn't a hedge fund, it is all Dart family money. I can't buy up debt of struggling countries and strongarm them into paying me while sitting off the Caymans on my armored yacht, but I can follow Ken into this trade.
I have links to more info about Ken and I write a little about the JPMorgan investigation here.